Most of you don’t know, but sometime before I became half of Your Mileage May Vary, I was an occupational therapist for 20-something years. It’s unfortunate that the continually growing demands of Medicare and other insurance companies eventually sucked the joy out of my career and I wound up looking for a position in a different, non-medical field in the early 2010s. But to this day, I hold a special place in my heart for anything that has to do with improving the lives of people who have physical, mental or intellectual challenges. So when I heard about this hotel that not only employs disabled people, but is run by them (albeit with some support), my heart just about burst with happiness.
I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who feels that the planning of a vacation is almost, or sometimes more exciting than going on the trip itself. There’s so much more that’s involved with setting up the perfect trip. Even more so if you’re planning a trip using points and miles.
I’ve been planning our trip to Germany for close to a year and I’ve hit a milestone. All of our major travel plans are set. The last one happened earlier this week when the message I’d been hoping for showed up in my email at 11:42 PM (while I was asleep)
The last puzzle piece was finally in place.
- I booked flights to Germany on Singapore Airlines in Business class
- We’re set for flights home on Delta booked with Flying Blue miles
- I just booked our flight from Frankfurt to Salzburg with 8,000 United miles
- I got positioning flights to New York for 8,000 SkyMiles
- We’re booked at the TWA Hotel for our time in New York
- Thanks to our readers, I found a great hotel in Munich
- I used a great Virtuoso rep to help book our hotel in Salzburg
- I used a Marriott free night certificate to book a room in Frankfurt
Sharon and I are headed to a (hopefully) epic trip to visit German Christmas Markets or more accurately Christkindlesmarkt in German. It will be a short trip and we’ve decided to hit just a few cities. We’ll be in Frankfurt since our arriving and departing flights are from there. I’ve tentatively decided on staying at the Le Meriden Parkhotel Frankfurt because of its proximity to the train lines and while Ben from One Mile at a Time said it had a “shabby chic” vibe, it sounds like the type of hotel we’d love.
The other city we’re visiting is Munich and trying to find a hotel is driving me crazy.
I’ve been looking at flights from Germany to the U.S. for our trip this winter. I already booked our flights to Germany on Singapore business class from New York but I figured I’d book the return later. Problem is that I can’t figure out our itinerary for the trip until I know which city we’re flying home from. That was incentive enough to have me look into finding flights, preferably award flights in business class.
My flight preference would be the non-stop flight on Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Orlando but since award seats tend not to open up until last minute, that won’t work with our plans. We won’t fly on United so options including their planes is a non-starter.
I started looking into flights on KLM or Air France. Both of them use the Flying Blue loyalty program and even though they have variable pricing on award tickets, they still have reasonable rates for many of their flights.
Much to my surprise, besides finding several options flying through either Paris or Amsterdam, a flight from Frankfurt-Detroit-Orlando was showing up. This flight was on two Delta planes and had decent times for arrival and departure and reasonable connection time.
I decided to try and book it.
It’s not often that I get excited about a flight. Remember, I’m the person who proudly wrote how we’re over flying in business class “just because we can.” However when all of the puzzle pieces fell into place and allowed me to book a flight I had my eyes set on for forever, I had to pull the trigger.
Here’s the post I wrote about how I wanted to book a flight on Singapore Airlines from New York – JFK to Frankfurt. I had the flight on waitlist for saver space but I kept checking to see if anything opened up. Saver space never showed up but one day when I logged in, I saw that tickets were available to book at the Advantage level.
Under the new Singapore Airlines chart, a flight from the East Coast to Europe costs 72,000 KrisFlyer Miles at the Saver level and 85,000 miles at the Advantage level. If I was willing to pay 72,000 miles for a ticket, what’s an extra 13,000 miles a ticket, really?